alistairphillips.com

I’m : a web and mobile developer based in the Manning Valley, Australia.


Ownership

We're using a "wonderful" application here called E2 Image & Workflow that's been developed by Phoenix Technology. I'm sure it's a wonderful application but it's implementation here was (it seems) rushed to get it out so that we could stop using another system.

Initially support was handled by the two individuals that got the project off the ground but after a while that was handed over to the Service Desk. Wow, and what a really bad time that was ... at first we could only sort out issues by using SQL*Plus and executing SQL commands to "unlock" user accounts but with only two of us doing that we soon fell short of time and on average it took us a day to get people up and running.

But then I got a web-based system going for everyone else to handle the "unlocking" of accounts and that soon got us back on track. That and the fact that the system has gone through a few updates which have significantly improved system performance - which is good.

Those two people have since moved onto another projects and handed over support the to the ServiceDesk and another "superuser" in one of our other offices. Unfortunately all that we here on the ServiceDesk can do is to "unlock" accounts and anything else needs to be handed off to the clever man.

Now today one of the Web Servers hosting the application crashed out and we started getting loads of calls. At first we could not identify which server was at fault as all the logon pages were coming up okay. So this brought along a nice issue to deal with - who do we escalate this to?

The initial people on the project are busy elsewhere, and well don't really support it anymore, and the clever person only really deals with normal day-to-day queries. Add into that the fact we're not allowed to contact Phoenix directly for support - and well it's chaos.

There seems to be no real owner of this application which makes it darn hard to escalate things. Granted we've got our server people for when there is a definitely problem with one of the web servers, and we've got clever man for any odd queries. But when odd things start happening that don't fit into either of those categories - then what?

So get with it, assign an IT person to own that application and make sure that there are enough people to diagnose what might be wrong. What would happen if certain key individuals left and we were without a resource to fix the problem? Either that or give us the tools to look into the problem and let us contact the company directly when there are issues.

We're just starting out so we've got the chance to get this right ... @li